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PRIME MINISTER’S DEVELOPMENT PACKAGE: Centre intervenes as implementation goes awry.

High-level teams from central government ministries will be visiting Jammu and Kashmir regularly to speed up works on infrastructure projects taken up under the Prime Minister’s Development Package in the State, a senior official said Monday.

The decision was taken after the visit of union home minister Rajnath Singh to Kashmir last month during which he reviewed the pace of work on these projects taken up under the PMDP worth Rs 80,000 crore.

Following this, a team of officers led by additional secretary, union ministry of home affairs, Gyanesh Kumar, visited the State on November 9 and took stock of the implementation of the package in different sectors. The team included senior officers from at least six central departments.

“The aim of such visits is to address bottlenecks, resource crunch and take spot decisions on issues that may hamper work on these projects,” the official, privy to the development, said.

During the November 9 visit of the central team, issues related to progress on PMDP projects, advancement of school education system in J&K through technological interventions, opening of new KendriyaVidyalyas and JawaharNavodayaVidyalyas in uncovered areas, progress on skill development front under Himayat, Udaan and Pradhan MantriKaushalVikasYojana schemes, construction of bunkers along borders and financial assistance to “victims of violence” were among a host of matters discussed. Spot decisions were taken on many pending issues, the official said.

At least 16 ministries are involved in implementation of 63 projects sanctioned under the PMDP, costing Rs 66,298 crore, of the total Rs 80068 crore package, envisaged to be implemented in a span of five years. The package was announced by the Prime Minister NarendraModi during his visit to Srinagar in December 2015.

But most of these projects are running behind schedules owing to varied reasons, and, according to an official communication, of Rs 27,857 crore released, Rs 23,948 crore has been utilised.

A state government official said there are strict directions from the union ministry of home affairs to the state officials on taking up these projects with the central ministries concerned during the visits of their teams to the State to ensure removal of bottlenecks and speeding up the works.

According to the official, the governor’s administration in J&K felt the need for a close coordination among central and state ministries concerned to give a push to the developmental program which has witnessed “slow progress” so far.In the coming days, the official said, teams from different ministries would be visiting the State as part of the central government’s effort to “ensure speedy implementation of the development projects”.

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